Interview with an SEO Expert

This week, we talked to an expert on SEO about all the questions you may have on maintaining a successful website with the best practices for SEO in 2024.

What makes a website SEO friendly?

SEO friendliness takes a lot of things into account. Keyword density and placement, properly using “ALT” tags (which is also important for ADA compliance), and context that is relevant. Meta tags (title/description) for search are also important.

What kind of factors do search engines consider when ranking?

Search engines don’t want to be scammed. They can tell when people are using gimmicks or tricks to skew their SEO scores. Every time the algorithm changes, and people freak out, it’s often because they like shortcuts instead of doing the work.

How can I find relevant keywords?

Chances are you didn’t invent the industry you work in. Use Google trends / search / keywords to find out what is relevant to the specific page you’re working on. If you’re targeting a local market, research that specifically and compare it with larger scale results.

Why is my organic traffic dropping?

Is your content stale? Is it relevant? Keep your content fresh. If you have a blog, utilize it.

How long will it take to rank on search engines?

Could be 2 weeks or 2 decades depending on your content (first) and SEO (second). SEO happens naturally to some extent if your copy is presented well.

 How long should my content be?

Long enough. Sometimes people write novels, sometimes nothing. Present your content in a way that makes sense to humans.

How often should I be adding new content?

Is it good quality content, or filler because you feel like you need to be adding things? Go for quality over quantity but if you can manage both, great!

What are some common SEO mistakes I should avoid?

Don’t put 600 keywords on one page and then list every city on the planet. Keyword density targets are usually small. Overdo it and you’ll lose points fast. Don’t go changing your URLs to ridiculous long-winded keywords. For example, your about page is your about page and should simply be /about; it should not be /about-the-best-car-dealership-in-new-york.

Above all else, remember that your target audience is usually human. Your goal is to engage humans by engaging search engines to get humans to your website. If your website isn’t geared towards humans (simple & concise language), and focused on specific content, then you’re wasting your time.

For example, if I click a keyword in your paid ad for “ice cream” and your page is entirely about salad, I’m going to bounce. Follow the funnel logic (before funnels were a keyword) and SEO drives people to your website, and your website is supposed to convert them by encouraging them to participate (by communication, interaction, sales etc.).

Don’t fall for large company gimmicks that include services like monitored/recorded phone calls as part of their SEO package. Some companies charge many thousands of dollars and do almost nothing for you. If you want to monitor and record your incoming calls, get yourself a good phone service (most good business plans offer this anyway).

Finally, keep your websites fully maintained. Making sure your website is up to date will usually also keep things running safer and smoother. Outdated plugins or scripts can put your website at risk. Any visible risk can often be seen by crawlers, especially if there is a malware or other security issue. These things also affect the speed and reliability of your website, which can greatly impact your search performance.

Catch up with Josh:

Finding Killer Keywords for Your Content

Everyone can’t be a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert, but you can do some simple things that will make your content more competitive.  Using keywords or trending search terms in your content is one way to be found in search results. Even better, there are FREE tools that can help you identify killer keywords for your content, such as Google Trends, Google Search,  and Google keywords.

 Simple Tools for Identifying Keywords

Today I’m going to focus on two of my favorites, Google Trends and Search.  The keyword planner in Google is good, but you have to have an advertising account and I don’t like to give people advice that turns into a whole new can of worms.  Believe me, Google’s advertising platform is not for the faint of heart.

To use Google Trends first visit the Google Trends site.   Among the graphics and words, there is a blank box where you can type in a search term.  I just tried “books” and got these results.  [Click Here: Keyword Search Result]

Maximize the Power of Trends

The results screen gives you the opportunity to compare different terms and identify them as “web searches”, “youtube searches”, and other kinds of searches.     While you are here you can also:

  • dig down and get more specific, which may return a smaller number of results.  I put in “mystery novel” and saw a couple of spikes over the past couple of days, but not much else happening.
  • see the ranking by state, so you know the locations of people who are searching using your word or string of words in a search.
  • compare terms that may be close in meaning to see if there’s a difference in how popular they are.
  • set a time frame so you can see a whole year of search.  You can see if there are certain times of the year your terms are more likely to be trending.

Google continues to update the features that make Google Trends more powerful and full of information.

Use Search to Find Even More Keywords

Next you can navigate over to Google Search and type in one of the terms you feel is most popular.  Scroll down to the area that says “people also searched for…” and there will be even more phrases and words you can use in your content.  If you are stumped for ideas, you can also do this process in reverse.  Throw some words in the search bar and find some related terms for which other people are searching.  Now you know how to find killer keywords for your content.  Using this process will create greater chances for you to be seen and heard.

Newsletter subscribers will get a video demonstration on how to use Google Trends.  To subscribe please visit

Other articles on topics related to increasing your chances of being found are on our blog.  Here is a more general commentary on SEO – What is SEO and Why Should You Be Interested?


What is SEO and Why Should You Be Interested?

Last month we talked about managing your social media content and audience. Now it’s time to discuss SEO, keywords, and getting people to visit your website. When you hear the term SEO, you may be thinking, what even is that? Or, does that really pertain to me? Everyone with a website should be thinking about SEO.

What is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of designing your website and content in a way that will increase its visibility on search engines such as Google and Bing. Organic traffic from search engines is one of the main ways a website gets viewed. 

There are three main types of SEO: on-page, off-page, and technical. Off-page and technical SEO refer to the optimizations that occur behind the scenes of a website. On-page SEO on the other hand focuses on aspects of the web page itself such as content quality and how much it aligns with what people are searching. This type of SEO can be the easiest for you to control.

The simplest way to begin optimizing your website is to find out what people in your audience are searching for and then create relevant and optimized content using these popular search terms. Use a keyword tool like Google Trends to research what people in your niche are searching. Once you have this information, create the type of content that your audience wants to see. Blogs, videos, interactive tools and more all work in different ways to serve your audience. Research what those you are targeting want to see and model your content accordingly.

Why Does SEO Pertain to Me?

So why does SEO pertain to you and your website? When people are searching for a product you sell or a service you provide, you want your website to show up at the top of their search results so that they are more likely to see it. A higher-ranking search result is made possible by SEO. 

Let’s say you wrote a mystery novel and you want more people to visit your website and ultimately purchase the book. Writing a blog on a relevant topic, such as a certain type of technology used in the book to solve the mystery, may drive more people from that niche to your website. This in turn gives them the opportunity to see your book on other pages of your website. It is not always about getting people to see the content itself, but also a way to drive them to the website as a whole and see the product or service you are selling without directly searching for it themselves.

Think about it, when was the last time you made it to the last page of your search engine results before finding what you were looking for, or even giving up? Probably never. You want your audience to find your website as soon as possible after searching, or there’s not a very likely chance of them finding it at all. 

If you have a website, SEO is something you should be thinking about, and it is something you can do yourself with a little research. Start by looking for those relevant keywords and begin tailoring your content to what your audience wants to see. The higher the search engine ranking you have, the higher your chance of being found organically.

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